Landing Page Optimisation
First impressions count and a well optimised set of landing pages can make all the difference. You know what you want your visitors to do, but is it clear to them?
Landing Page Optimisation Quick Start Guide
First things first, a landing page scorecard isn’t Conversion Rate Optimisation in one neat little package, it’s not even all the insight you need to start your project. However, it is a simple tool to steer you onto the CRO path, something to start you thinking objectively about what you might be able to do to make your website work harder.
Our landing page scorecard has 18 simple questions, separated into six different areas, and by answering these as honestly as you can you’ll start to understand where change is most needed. The answers are a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because, if you're being honest, ‘kind of’ and ‘a little bit’ are really just different ways of saying ‘no’!
Although the categories aren't in a strict order of priority, we consider Relevance the most important, so we've put it at the top. After that, they all have fairly equal priority, so don't think that two ticks in the Simplicity section makes it a higher priority to resolve than three ticks in the Reassurance section.
Walk in the shoes of your customers
As far as possible, be objective and try to empathise - take the position of your customer or prospect when you’re filling this scorecard out. The more impartial you can be at this stage, the better your results will be.
Choose your top three landing pages (and your home page if it’s not included in that list) and use a separate scorecard for each one - some may have strengths that others don’t.
We’ll go through the importance of each section:
Relevance – Does the page match user intent?
Their journey started before they got to your page. They found you from a PPC ad, an email newsletter, Facebook ad or a referral from a friend. Before that they were dreaming about their next holiday/cat litter tray/ppc agency, making decisions long before they got to you. Make sure the immediate message on the landing page helps to join this journey up.
Which page wins?
Simplicity – Does the user know what to do once they get to your page?
First impressions are good. Your page seems to match their search and your site could be the one to sell them the cat litter tray of their dreams. In your least patronising voice, don’t make the visitor think too much – don’t hide key buttons or information and make sure it is clear what you want them to do next.
USPs – Why should they choose you?
In any market there’s competition. Your users need to know what the advantage is (to them) of buying through you. Is it free delivery, cheaper prices, award-winning service or that you’re local? Whatever your differentiators are, make sure you shout about them.
Clutter – What’s the key message?
Within two seconds of landing on your page, is it clear what the visitor should do next? Are visitors blinded by mega-menus or HUGE buttons trying to take them to different areas of the site or is the primary CTA hidden away at the bottom of the page (or written in teeny, tiny letters).
Reassurance – Am I safe?
Has anyone in the world used your services or bought from you before? How can you show prospective customers that you’re real, reliable and good! Reassurance comes in many forms, local or industry awards, online reviews from real customers through Trustpilot or Reviews.co.uk, engagement on a social media channel that’s appropriate for your brand – anything that publically tells prospects you’re good.
Deadline – Why should I do this today?
You want people to buy from you today, not work to their own schedule. Depending on the type of site and the commodity you’re selling, urgency can be created by offering discounts, showing reduced stock levels or showing when offers expire. Out of the six categories, this is possibly the least important (by a whisper), and often not as relevant in B2B. That doesn't mean you shouldn't test ideas here though.
So, you’ve been through your scorecard and marked yourself objectively - what does it mean and what should you do next? This exercise isn’t about what your total score is, it’s about identifying areas to work on, and understanding where you should focus your efforts on making improvements to the page.
Once you have a prioritised list of areas to work on, start looking through your data to see if you can back up your findings (you can also do this to prove your ‘Yes’ answers). If you can you get feedback from real users that back up your results then you’re even closer to understanding where real problems may (or may not) be.
And don't forget, the real fun comes when you A/B test the new version of the page to see if your findings have resulted in a winner!